© 2019

Inside Today’s Elementary Schools

A Psychologist’s Perspective

  • Reveals the most pressing issues that schools face and parents may not be aware of

  • Presents concrete ways to improve schooling and student engagement on a large scale

  • Includes advice for parents and other stakeholders to combat the outlined issues in their communities


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Shortsighted Vision and Lopsided Staffing

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. James J. Dillon
      Pages 3-9
    3. James J. Dillon
      Pages 11-25
    4. James J. Dillon
      Pages 27-43
    5. James J. Dillon
      Pages 45-65
    6. James J. Dillon
      Pages 67-83
    7. James J. Dillon
      Pages 85-102
  3. The Wall of Separation, Administrative Bloat, and Boundless Accommodation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. James J. Dillon
      Pages 105-124
    3. James J. Dillon
      Pages 125-141
    4. James J. Dillon
      Pages 143-164
    5. James J. Dillon
      Pages 165-184
    6. James J. Dillon
      Pages 185-203
    7. James J. Dillon
      Pages 205-214
    8. James J. Dillon
      Pages 215-234
  4. What to Do About All Ten Things

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 235-235
    2. James J. Dillon
      Pages 237-255
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 257-261

About this book


This book takes readers on a tour of a day in the life of a public elementary school in an effort to give parents and other stakeholders a sense of the realities of the classroom. The tour reveals ten worrisome things about today’s schools and considers what to do about them. Dillon emphasizes the need for future schools to be places filled with adventure and high purpose, with classrooms small enough to waste only a minimum of time. They should be free from stifling levels of bureaucracy, supervised by rotating teacher administrators rather than career managers. The book asserts that schools should be staffed by scholarly and engaged teaching professionals dedicated to helping students live a healthy adult life in a democracy rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all, furiously assessed college prep curriculum on everyone. In all, Dillon argues, schools should be places with classrooms of narrow ability ranges dedicated to teaching a coherent curriculum, all in a context of full buy-in and support from students’ families. Let’s go inside today’s elementary schools.


Educational Psychology Elementary Education Parent Involvement Elementary School Child Development Teachers US Education System Childhood Early Childhood Education School Interventions Public School School Board Education and Gender

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of West GeorgiaCarrolltonUSA

About the authors

James J. Dillon, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of West Georgia, USA. He is a graduate of Clark University, a certified public elementary school teacher, and author of Partnerships in Research, Clinical, and Educational Settings (2000) and Teaching Psychology and the Socratic Method (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016).

Bibliographic information